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Bismarck Dem-NPL Senate candidate hurries to establish residency before deadline


Bismarck Dem-NPL Senate candidate hurries to establish residency before deadline

Apr 23, 2024 | 10:08 am ET
By Michael Achterling
Bismarck Dem-NPL Senate candidate hurries to establish residency before deadline
Matthew Zimny, Bismarck, is running as a Democrat for state Senate in District 30. (Photo provided)

One Democratic-NPL state Senate candidate is running for the Legislature in a district he doesn’t yet live in.

State Senate candidate Matthew Zimny filed paperwork to run for office using an address north of Bismarck that falls within District 7. But Zimny is running for a legislative seat in District 30.

The state constitution says a person running for the state Legislature must live in the state for one year and be a “qualified elector” in the district they are running, which means they must live in their district for 30 days prior to the election.

Secretary of State Michael Howe said his office has been in contact with Zimny who said his family is building a house on an empty lot within District 30 and they will be living there by Oct. 5 to establish residency to be in compliance with the candidate requirements.

“We’re a filing office. We don’t have an investigative arm,” Howe said. Adding, if any reports about candidacy eligibility requirements did come up during the election cycle, his office would reach out to the Attorney General’s Office for any investigation that is warranted.

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In an interview with the North Dakota Monitor, Zimny said the family bought the vacant lot in 2023 with plans to begin construction on a new home last year, but they postponed construction into 2024 because their current home still is on the market. Zimny and his family live off Highway 1804 near the Hawktree Golf Club but are moving to south Bismarck.

He said his son has been attending school within District 30 since September and they have every intention of meeting the candidate residency deadline.

“All the last year, we’ve been basically commuting from one side of town to the other,” Zimny said. “We were going to be moving down there no matter what, this year.”

He also said he only decided to run for the state Senate recently, long after they decided to move and switch their son’s school.

Howe also said Zimny could rent a house or an apartment in the district to establish residency if construction of his new house is not completed by Oct. 5.

Zimny, an emergency room physician at Sanford Health in Bismarck, is the only Dem-NPL candidate running for office in District 30 and will be unopposed in the June 11 statewide primary. Zimny served for 23 years in the North Dakota National Guard, serving one tour in Afghanistan and retiring as a lieutenant colonel. 

“New leadership is sorely needed in our state government,” Zimny said in a statement. “We need leaders who serve the people of North Dakota, not themselves.”

Zimny will take on the winner of the district’s NDGOP primary race between incumbent Sen. Diane Larson and challenger Adam Rose.